physics, velocity is defined as the rate of change of position. It is a vector physical quantity; both speed "and" direction are required to define it. In the SI (metric) system, it is measured in meters per second: (m/s) or ms-1. The scalar absolute value(magnitude) of velocity is speed. For example, "5 meters per second" is a scalar and not a vector, whereas "5 meters per second east" is a vector. The "average" velocity "v" of an object moving through a displacementduring a time interval is described by the formula:
The rate of change of velocity is referred to as
Equation of motion
The instant velocity vector of an object that has positions "" at time and "" at time "", can be computed as the
The equation for an object's velocity can be obtained mathematically by evaluating the
integralof the equation for its acceleration beginning from some initial period time "" to some point in time later "".
The final velocity v of an object which starts with velocity u and then accelerates at constant acceleration a for a period of time is:
The average velocity of an object undergoing constant
accelerationis , where u is the initial velocity and v is the final velocity. To find the displacement, x, of such an accelerating object during a time interval, , then:
When only the object's initial velocity is known, the expression,
can be used.
This can be expanded to give the position at any time t in the following way:
These basic equations for final velocity and displacement can be combined to form an equation that is independent of time, also known as
The above equations are valid for both
Newtonian mechanicsand special relativity. Where Newtonian mechanics and special relativity differ is in how different observers would describe the same situation. In particular, in Newtonian mechanics, all observers agree on the value of "t" and the transformation rules for position create a situation in which all non-accelerating observers would describe the acceleration of an object with the same values. Neither is true for special relativity. In other words only relative velocitycan be calculated.
In Newtonian mechanics, the
kinetic energy( energyof motion), , of a moving object is linear with both its massand the square of its velocity:
The kinetic energy is a scalar quantity.
Escape velocity" is the minimum velocity a body must have in order to escape from the gravitational field of the earth.To escape from the earth's gravitational field an object must have greater kinetic energy than its gravitational potential energy. The value of the escape velocity from Earth is approximately 11100 m/s
Relative velocity is a measurement of velocity between two objects as determined in a single coordinate system. Relative velocity is fundamental in both classical and modern physics, since many systems in physics deal with the relative motion of two or more particles. In Newtonian mechanics, the relative velocity is independent of the chosen inertial reference frame. This is not the case anymore with
special relativityin which velocities depend on the choice of reference frame.
If an object A is moving with velocity vector v and an object B with velocity vector w , then the velocity of object A "relative to" object B is defined as the difference of the two velocity vectors::
Similarly the relative velocity of object B moving with velocity w, relative to object A moving with velocity v is::
Usually the inertial frame is chosen in which the latter of the two mentioned objects is in rest.
In the one dimensional case [ [http://www.saburchill.com/physics/chapters/0083.html Basic principle] ] , the velocities are scalars and the equation is either::
, if the two objects are moving in opposite directions, or::
, if the two objects are moving in the same direction.
In polar coordinates, a two-dimensional velocity is described by a radial velocity, defined as the component of velocity away from or toward the origin (also known as "velocity made good"), and an
angular velocity, which is the rate of rotation about the origin (with positive quantities representing counter-clockwise rotation and negative quantities representing clockwise rotation, in a right-handed coordinate system).
The radial and angular velocities can be derived from the Cartesian velocity and displacement vectors by decomposing the velocity vector into radial and transverse components. The
transversevelocity is the component of velocity along a circle centered at the origin.
:where: is the transverse velocity: is the radial velocityThe magnitude of the radial velocity is the dot product of the velocity vector and the unit vector in the direction of the displacement.:where: is displacementThe magnitude of the transverse velocity is that of the cross product of the unit vector in the direction of the displacement and the velocity vector. It is also the product of the angular speed () and the magnitude of the displacement.:
Angular momentumin scalar form is the mass times the distance to the origin times the transverse velocity, or equivalently, the mass times the distance squared times the angular speed. The sign convention for angular momentum is the same as that for angular velocity.:where: is mass:
If forces are in the radial direction only with an inverse square dependence, as in the case of a gravitational
orbit, angular momentum is constant, and transverse speed is inversely proportional to the distance, angular speed is inversely proportional to the distance squared, and the rate at which area is swept out is constant. These relations are known as Kepler's laws of planetary motion
The velocity of an object over one
Four-velocity(relativistic version of velocity for Minkowski spacetime)
Rapidity(a version of velocity additive at relativistic speeds)
Proper velocity(in relativity, using traveler time instead of observer time)
*Halliday, David, Robert Resnick and Jearl Walker, "Fundamentals of Physics", Wiley; 7 Sub edition (June 16, 2004). ISBN 0471232319.
* [http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/1DKin/U1L1d.html Speed and Velocity] (The Physics Classroom)
* [http://www.scs.cmu.edu/~rapidproto/mechanisms/chpt1.html Introduction to Mechanisms] (Carnegie Mellon University)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.